You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. Hebrews 1:9
Attempting to find joy is something that people all over the world are striving for. The harder they strive to find joy, the less that they seem to find it.
With all of the crime, hatred, violence and destruction occurring, people fall into depression. Many go to doctors or take certain drugs to find the peace and joy that they are seeking, but unable to find.
The author of Hebrews, quotes from Psalm 45:6, 7, a prophecy about Jesus. It points out that Jesus loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Because of this love and hatred, God has anointed Him with the oil of joy.
In the same way that the world is seeking joy, many believers are also seeking it and are also unable to find it. They know the verses and can talk about God, but they refuse to follow God’s commands.
Many have one foot set in the church, while the other is still in the world. While they claim to follow Jesus, they also choose to love the wicked things of this world, and refuse to give up sins in their lives.
As long as a believer harbors sin and enjoys sin, he will lose out on gaining joy. Jesus had joy, despite horrible circumstances, because He knew that He was doing what the Father wanted Him to do. Jesus was loving righteousness and hating wickedness. He would not fall to the temptations to sin.
Every believer needs to make a concerted effort to flee all sin and hate all wickedness. In place of not seeking evil, he must seek God’s holiness and righteousness that Jesus provides in abundance.
As this is done, just as God filled Jesus with joy, He will fill the believer with abundant joy despite any circumstance in life.
While you are seeking joy, you must examine your life. Find out what you really love and see if what you love honors God. Be willing to turn away from all wickedness and sin, and turn your focus upon God, His Holiness and His righteousness.
Do not allow yourself to be caught up in the evil, wicked sins of this world, but in God’s holiness and righteousness. Put on the righteousness of Jesus and receive the joy that God will fill you with as you serve Him.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; that you will know the righteousness of Jesus; that you will know the joy God has for you; and that God will set you apart from the wickedness of this world.
Reject every kind of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:22
Those who live in the world by the world’s standards do not have any real solid standard to live by. In theory the world says that there is a right and wrong, good and bad. However, the world does not have any standard that is solid to determine what is right or wrong.
Most live by the standard of if it works and feels good right now, without harming any one else immediately, it is acceptable. It does not matter if it may hurt oneself or someone else later, as long as it does not immediately hurt now.
As Paul is closing out his letter to the Thessalonians, he tells them to reject every kind of evil.
God has a standard that He has laid down since the beginning with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. It is a standard of holiness, that has not changed since the beginning of time. His standard of holiness is the same as with Adam, no sin, no evil.
Sadly, many in the church have not lived by God’s standards, they have accepted some evil in their lives. Many live by standards that God has called evil and wrong while at the same time claiming to believe in and follow Jesus.
Sinful activities are accepted and even promoted by some ‘believers’. Telling lies, cheating, stealing, murder and many other things are done by believers who turn a blind eye to God’s holy standard of living.
Those who are truly following Jesus will reject every kind of evil. Not just the extreme gross end of evil, but all evil. They will make choices to have no part in sinful activities or teachings in any way, whether simple or complex. They will live by God’s holy standard.
Each day you live, you have choices of how you will live to make. You have to choose whether you will live according to the sinful ways of this world, or by God’s holy standard. You have to choose whether you will reject every kind of evil that attempts to be in your life, or will you choose to accept that evil.
God always makes a way to keep from all sin and evil, but it is up to you to choose the correct way to stay away from evil. Will you reject or accept evil that presents itself to you?
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will turn to God and away from all sin; that God will guide you in rejecting evil that presents itself to you; and that you will live a holy and pure life before God in all areas of your life.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 1 Corinthians 13:6
Truth can make someone feel very good or it can make someone very uncomfortable. The feeling that one gets with is dependent upon which side of the law one is acting.
Many people fear the truth, because it exposes wrong actions or thoughts or sin in their hearts and minds of their lives. Keeping this in thought, many will attempt to cover up the truth in selfish pride or fear.
The majority of the world delights in evil, even though many will say that they hate evil. Their hearts chase after things that go against God.
In this chapter, Paul describes what love is. Here he points out that love does not take joy in evil, but rejoices with truth.
Very few people like to be exposed. They do not want anyone else to see their faults. All people want others to see is their good side. In order to make this happen, others seeing only their good side, they will often live lies and hide the truth.
One who truly understands God’s perfect love, will always rejoice in the truth, even when it hurts. God’s love will expose faults and wrongs in the life of a person. This is not done to destroy or condemn the person, but to point out areas that need to be worked on. Areas that need to be given over to God.
The true believer will run from evil and rejoice when God reveals the truth. It gives him hope that God is still in control. It reveals God’s love to him. It guides him away from evil and into righteousness.
Evil only brings about death. Truth brings life. Jesus is truth and life for the believer.
As you go through your days, always seek to know the truth about yourself, the world around you and what God is doing. Do not run after evil or any sin. Flee sin and run towards the truth.
As truth reveals faults in your life, seek to repent and change with God’s strength by His Holy Spirit. Do not allow yourself to be deceived by false lies, but know the truth.
Do not use truth to destroy others, but to build them up and point them towards Jesus. Always rejoice when truth is revealed, because truth always honors God and shows true love.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will reveal all truth to you; that you will be guided by God’s Holy Spirit into all truth; that you will use truth to honor God and build others up; and that you will have God’s love in you for others.